YOUTH PASCH 2016
by Brother Velasli Bandya
LONAVLA, MAR 30, 2016: Thirty eight youth from in and around Mumbai, who attended that annual Youth Pasch, reflected on Love, Forgiveness and living Christ-like lives at the three-day long meet, which was held in Don Bosco, Lonavla from March 23 onwards.
The Pasch was organised by Don Bosco Youth Services, Mumbai and was animated by Father Glenford Lowe, Father Ajoy Fernandes, Father Cleophas Braganza, Father Leon Cruz, Brother Velasli Bandya, Charmaine Moraes and Fatima Vallado. At the initial commitment session, the young people were challenged to bring about a positive change in their lives during the days of the Youth Pasch.
On Maundy Thursday, the sessions were based on the theme, “Love as I have loved.” At the morning meditation, the youth washed each other’s feet and reflected on the meaning of this action. During the session on love and relationships, they analysed the various types of love, commitment and relationships.
The Exodus journey was an outdoor experience, where they recalled the experiences of the Israelites and compared them to their own life. At sunset, they participated in the solemn celebration of the Lord’s Supper, part of which was enacted in the style of the original Jewish Seder meal. The day concluded with quiet moments of adoration with the Eucharistic Lord.
The theme for Good Friday was, “Forgive as I have forgiven.” The day started with a meditation on the parable of the prodigal son, followed by a session on the culture of life and death. The Labyrinth prayer garden experience was an opportunity for self-discovery and inner healing.
The evening was spent in reflecting on the Passion of the Lord through a meaningful celebration of the Lord’s Passion and the Way of the Cross animated by the youth. The day came to an end with the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the symbolic nailing of sins to the Cross.
On Holy Saturday, the theme was, “Live as I have lived.” The day began with a meditation at the foot of the Cross, followed by a session on forgiveness and new life. The empty tomb experience helped the young people to realise where their lives were heading and to make necessary course corrections. In the evening, in the session ‘Faces of Christ’, they shared what personal associations they made with Jesus.
The day ended with a session on commitment, in which they reflected upon their experiences and took decisions for the future. The Easter Vigil Service was made meaningful by the liturgy animated by the youth themselves. It was followed by the Via Lucis- The Way of Light.